It's easy to be intimidated by making your own bread. Even flatbread. And even a yeasted flatbread like pizza.
This Aglio e Olio Pizza is a simple pizza bread that can be torn up like garlic bread pieces. Use it alongside a meal, for sopping up sauces, or dipping into soups. Or use it as a sandwich bread in the way you'd use foccacia.
But load up your pizza with lots of ingredients, if that's your preference. For example, I modeled this BBQ Chicken Pizza with Poblano Peppers and Pepitas from a restaurant I love (the recipe has a vegetarian option). Or make this simple Socca, which is a crust with chickpea flour like they do in southern France.
What's an Aglio e Olio Pizza?
Aglio e olio is translated as garlic and oil (typically olive oil, since it's an Italian dish), and is a very simple pasta tossed with garlic and dried red pepper flakes sautéd in olive oil. At the end it's tossed with parsley.
I adapted this idea to a pizza and swapped dried oregano for the parsley.
The ingredients are simple, and are likely ones you have in your pantry.
For the pizza bread:
- Bread flour
- Instant yeast
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil
For the pizza topping:
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Dried red pepper flakes
- Dried oregano
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Aglio e Olio Pizza
Overnight Pizza Dough
- Whisk the flour with the instant yeast and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix in the olive oil and 1 ½ cup of ice water. Mix on low until the liquid is absorbed. Switch to a dough hook, and mix on medium for at least 5 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl. If it completely clears the bottom, add a little more water. No dough should stick to the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth, elastic and slightly sticky (more than just tacky to the touch).
- Mist a sheet pan with oil, and set it aside. I have a quarter sheet pan I use for this, because it fits well into my refrigerator. But a half sheet pan works fine. Lightly flour a work surface, such as a countertop.
- Use a flexible dough scraper to transfer the dough from the bowl to the floured work surface. Knead a few times, and divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. To do this, I weigh the dough, and then weigh out 6 equal pieces. I slice them away from the dough using the bench scraper. A knife or your fingers work fine for this too.
- Roll each dough piece into a ball with your hands, and place them on the oiled sheet pan. Spray or rub the surfaces of the dough rounds with oil. Completely cover with plastic, and slide into the refrigerator for at least over night, and up to 3 days.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest on the counter at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Lightly oil another sheet pan. Lightly flour a work surface, such as a countertop. Remove one dough round from the original sheet pan, and re-cover the rest. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, and your hands. Press the dough round down into a disk about 5" in diameter. Place it on the newly oiled sheet pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough rounds. You'll need 2 sheet pans to accommodate all 6 disks. Lightly oil the tops of the disks, and cover with plastic.
- Let rise for 2 hours on the counter. Place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat the oven to 500˚F.
- Spill 1 cup of flour into a shallow bowl. Generously dust a cutting board with cornmeal. Dip the backs of your hands into the bowl to coat them up past your knuckles.
- Lift one dough round from the sheet pan, a re-cover the rest. Drape the dough over your knuckles to begin to stretch it. Continue to gently move the disk around on your knuckles until it reaches around 9" in diameter. The middle will stretch out first. It's important to begin to move your knuckles out to the edges as you move it around. It may take you the first couple pizzas to get it down. But once you do, this step will take about 1 minute.
- Place the pizza dough back down on the cutting board, and stretch out the edges a bit, if the dough is uneven in thickness. The pizzas bake up best when the thickness is fairly similar across the dough. If the dough is too thin in some places, that area will bake faster, and potentially burn, since the oven is so hot.
- Mince 3 cloves of pan-roasted garlic (recipe below). Baste the dough round with olive oil, and sprinkle with the garlic, dried red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Make sure the dough slides easily on the cutting board, and slide it onto the baking stone.
- Bake for 5 - 8 minutes, depending on how thick the dough is, and how deeply browned you like your pizza flatbread. Repeat with the other disks.
- Place the garlic in a small skillet or pot, large enough for them to all lay flat. Cover with olive oil, and bring to a very low simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until soft.
- Use enough olive oil to cover the garlic cloves in a small pan. You'll have olive oil left over, which you can save for other purposes.
Occasionally I post recipes with a Bread Baking group that's full of bread baking experts. This is one of those months, and the topic this month was pizza. Go check out all the ways to make pizza, hosted by Karen at Karen's Kitchen Stories. She's one of the best bakers I know!
- Aglio e Olio Pizza from The Wimpy Vegetarian (that's me!)
- Barley Flour Vegetarian Pizza from Cook with Renu
- Breakfast Biscuit Pizza from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Deep Dish Hawaiian Pizza from Making Miracles
- Dessert Apple Pizza from Magical Ingredients
- Grilled Fruit Pizza from A Messy Kitchen
- Individual Deep Dish Pizzas from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Jerk Chicken Sausage Pizza from Passion Kneaded
- Langallo (Hungarian Pizza) from Palatable Pastime
- No-Knead Thin Crust Margherita Pizza from Sneha's Recipe
- Pizza Empanadas from Ambrosia
- Quattro Stagioni Sourdough Pizza from Food Lust People Love
- Sourdough Pizza from Zesty South Indian Kitchen
- Valentine's Hearts from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.